Top Ten

April 29, 2022

Canadian institutions rank highly in 2022 THE Impact Rankings

The fourth annual Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022 were released this week, and Canadian universities have appeared among the top schools. The Impact Rankings assessed the research, stewardship, outreach, and teaching activities of over 1,406 universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Six Canadian universities placed among the top 25 universities in the world: Western University (#3) was the highest ranked Canadian institution, followed closely by Queen’s University (#7), the University of Alberta (#11), University of Victoria (#12), University of British Columbia (tied for #13), and the University of Guelph (tied for #16). “It’s excellent to see Canada as a whole doing so well in these rankings, with special credit going to Western, not just for leading the way, but for making it to the overall world top three,” said THE Chief Knowledge Officer Phil Baty. THE (Rankings) | Western (National)

Medical graduates less interested in pursuing family medicine, leaving positions vacant

Despite the increasing number of medical graduates in Canada, family medicine positions are being left vacant as graduates show little interest in pursuing family medicine positions. This lack of interest has been connected to structural problems such as the flat rate payment system, which is not as sustainable for family doctors in more expensive areas, and graduates wanting roles that will focus more strongly on seeing patients than on running a business. The Canadian Resident Matching Service has also been criticized for not addressing the barriers that some students have faced when getting resident positions. “This newer generation of family physicians, we realize that the government’s paid a lot of money to train us and we want to work at the top of our scope most efficiently,” said College of Family Physicians of Canada President Dr Brady Bouchard. The Star (National)

Concordia professor receives $6M for researching alternatives to antibiotics

Concordia University professor of biology Adrian Tsang has received $6M from Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) to research alternatives to antibiotics in livestock feed. The three-year funding will support Tsang’s research on stabilizing lysozyme formulations, which can reduce disease transmission as well as antibiotics can. Research will focus on increasing lysozyme resistance to heat and environmental conditions so that they can effectively be added to animal feed. “Decreasing antibiotic use in animal production may reduce the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” said Tsang. “This could also reduce the risk of transmitting diseases from animals to humans.” Concordia (QC)

Royal College’s concerns about UManitoba medical training are evidence of health care “system in crisis,” say doctors

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons has reportedly threatened to suspend training of medical students in select University of Manitoba programs due to concerns about Manitoba’s doctors being “too busy to safely teach medical students.” The Royal College assessed 46 programs at UManitoba and flagged three as insufficient – neurology, core internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology – due to concerns about supervision and the ability for residents to work in a safe learning environment. The Winnipeg Free Press reports that UManitoba is not expected to lose its standing to train doctors, but that those working in the hospitals view the regulatory threat as evidence of a health care system in crisis. A doctor anonymously shared that “there are so many patients to look after that both residents and staff are overwhelmed." University officials are in talks with MB about new funding to get the programs back to full accreditation. Winnipeg Free Press (Sub Req) (MB)

Mask recycling at Mohawk diverts over 260,000 masks from landfill

A mask recycling initiative at Mohawk College has ensured that over 260,000 discarded masks have been recycled. The initiative stems from a student suggestion, explained Mohawk manager of sustainability Allison Maxted, and the college launched the program last summer. Mohawk has placed boxes from Terracycle at campus exits for those on campus to put their disposable masks in. When the boxes are filled, they are sent to be recycled into items such as outdoor furniture or decking and playground resurfacing material. The college has spent $30K so far on the project and “currently [has] no plans to end the program,” though it will continue to assess the need going forward. CBC (ON)

Ukrainian students need more housing support: Editorial

International students from Ukraine are experiencing housing challenges as they face increased costs of living with no support from their families, reports CTV News. President of the Ukrainian Students Club at Humber College Kebrija Leeks-Kottick says that moving in with a friend or couch surfing are some of the only options for students who cannot pay their rent or residence fees. While some institutions have individually responded to these kinds of concerns with bursaries, gift cards, or free or subsidized residence, University of Toronto Mississauga Assistant Professor Lilia Topouzova says that these kinds of initiatives need to be unified and supported at a federal level so that students can easily find information about the programs. CTV News (International)

Loyalist, Grace Schools in Nigeria partner on business programs

Loyalist College has partnered with Grace Schools Centre for International Studies in Nigeria to allow business students to gain an overseas education. Students in Grace Schools’ two-year Business Diploma Programme will complete their first year in Nigeria and their second year in Canada. The program will also involve a teacher exchange component, with instructors from Loyalist going to teach at Grace Schools and Grace Schools instructors teaching at Loyalist. Some courses will be offered online to accommodate instructor exchange. “After a tour of 10 universities, secondary and higher [ed] schools,” said Grace Schools executive director Olatokuboh Edun, “I was very impressed with the school because of their facilities.” The Guardian (ON)

QC tables amendment to Bill 96 to change French course requirements for English cégep students

The Government of Quebec has announced that it is tabling an amendment in order to remove a requirement for students at English cégeps to take three core courses in French. Instead, students will be required to take three additional French courses and two French language courses. The amendment has been met with criticism, as it adds additional courses to programs that are usually just four semesters long and the grades could affect students’ admission into university. Dawson College's First Peoples’ Centre co-ordinator Tiawentinon Canadian said that the move could add an extra barrier for Indigenous students, who may give up on their goals because of difficulties with French. Kahnawake Education Centre Director Robin Delarone echoed these concerns and called it “discriminatory.” CBC | The Star (QC)

Southeast brings AB, SK postsecondary institutions together for open house

Universities and colleges from across Saskatchewan and Alberta gathered on Wednesday at an open house hosted by Southeast College where high school students could learn about postsecondary education and career options. The event included institutions such as the University of Regina and Luther College, Dumont Technical Institute, Olds College, Parkland College, Lakeland College, Great Plains College, the Recording Arts Institute of Saskatoon, the University of Calgary, and the University of Lethbridge. Students visited information booths, watched a haircut demonstration, and visited with organizations such as the RCMP and Canadian armed forces. “We saw a need to open up what we were already planning to some of our post-secondary industry partners,” explained Southeast Manager of Marketing and Communications Sheena Onrait. Discover Weyburn | SaskToday | Southeast (SK)

Student advocacy organizations publish reports on student affordability, housing

Student advocacy organizations from across Canada recently released a joint publication on the changing landscape of student financial aid. Shared Perspectives includes contributions from nine student organizations on topics such as the modernization of the federal and provincial student aid systems, the affordability crisis on campus, and takeaways from a targeted free tuition project. Students Nova Scotia also recently issued a series of recommendations for sustainable student housing in Nova Scotia. The report responds to the province’s student housing strategy, which was released in 2021 and outlines key student concerns and how the province could address them. OUSA (Publication) | Students NS (National)